Socialist Worker

London Met students fight for arts courses

by Katherine Igidbashian
Issue No. 2479

Cass students protesting last week

Cass students protesting last week (Pic: Ascha Paul)

Up to 300 students held an angry and lively protest outside the Cass art school in Aldgate, east London, on Thursday of last week.

They showed their disgust at planned closures with chants of, “Whose school? Our school!”

Cass is part of London Metropolitan University.

London Met bosses last month announced that it was to be moved to the Holloway Road site in north London.

This would result in a reduction of student places, job losses and at least 19 course cuts from the Cass faculty alone. This is part of a broader attack that management markets as “One Campus, One Community”.

Students held placards attacking the Vice Chancellor and calling the student union president a traitor for not backing them.

Recently reinstated National Gallery PCS union rep Candy Udwin and prominent artist Jeremy Deller spoke out offering solidarity with students against closures.

Attacks on London Met are nothing new. Only six months ago, 165 jobs were at risk through vicious cuts by the management.

The university has more black and minority ethnic students than all of the elite Russell Group universities combined.

This is an attack on access to education, particularly arts education, for the working class. One student said, “They’re trying to get rid of the all the arts courses and the galleries, they’re trying to stifle creativity.”

Another asked where else working class students were supposed to go.

However there is a real mood of resistance. Students are furious and determined to keep fighting back with plans for further protests.

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